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Starbucks wants you to schedule coffee meetings in Outlook

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Starbucks is making a strategic bet on Microsoft Office. At Microsoft's Build conference in San Francisco today, Starbucks CTO Gerri Martin-Flickinger took to the stage to announce a Starbucks add-in for Microsoft Office. While you might expect a Starbucks add-in for Office would let you order a coffee from Word, Starbucks is only using its add-in to let you schedule coffee meetings or send gift cards to friends and family.

The gift card interface appears at the side of the desktop Outlook email client, allowing users to pick a number of different gift cards to send to friends. Likewise, the calendar scheduling is similar so you can invite a friend to go for coffee, with an automatic link that will be sent so you can order ahead. It's an interesting use of the new add-in feature for Office, and other companies like Uber are creating similar add-ins inside of Microsoft's productivity apps.